Thyroid struggles! Thyroid disease has become epidemic and continues to effect more and more people each year. Women suffer from thyroid disease seven times more than men. My thyroid disease was first diagnosed as a teenager. It has been a long journey and continues to be so. Then I discovered juice fasting.
As many of you know I have suffered with many chronic illnesses and autoimmune diseases for years. Thyroid and adrenal issues have been a major cause of my illnesses. For countless years I endured medical testing, a variety of elimination diets, a host of therapies and all to no avail.
After many months of deteriorating health this past year, I decided to do juice fasting again. I was really feeling the need to detox and lose weight.
I tried juice fasting about 15 years ago when my son and daughter were both diagnosed with autism. The goal was to detox them and myself. At the time, I think due to the enormous stress we endured I became extremely ill myself. Their diagnosis and trying to understand how our family would move forward were almost more than I could handle.
Like many others with thyroid issues I have tried armor thyroid and lethroxin. But I quickly realized that prescription medications were not the answer. What I really wanted was a more natural approach. Something that I could incorporate into my life, something that was natural and I could use forever.
Once again I turned to juicing. Having juiced for an entire 3 months about 10 years ago, I have turned to juicing periodically many times since then.
This time I turned to juicing and fasting. Fasting has become very popular in recent months. Given that I am reasonably intune with my body and have tried many different holistic treatments over the years I chose to include juicing with my fasting. After a great deal of research I knew that the nutrients and bioflavonoids in fruit and (mainly) vegetables were essential for my body’s needs.
Unfortunately, my own experience with juicing and fasting has been somewhat troublesome.
One of the good and not so good things with fasting is that it is not “one size fits all”. Everybody’s response to fasting is different and as a result what works for one does not necessarily work for another.
The juice fasting started exceptionally well. I had decided to consume a maximum 500 calories each day. After struggling with exhaustion and chronic illness I was now able to function on 8-9 hours sleep a night – and still feel refreshed. That in itself was a huge accomplishment and a significant improvement in my life. Poor thyroid and adrenal function had been getting the better of me.
My juice fast continued for 17 days days and I lost 3.5 pounds. Not quite what I was hoping for, but still a pretty good result. I was feeling great. More energy, less sleep and loser clothing.
After 14 days of juice fasting I then decided to get serious! My next focus was weight loss. I chose to do total fasting because I had a business trip to Florida. As a mother and wife, meal preparation and cooking is the ultimate challenge. I am sure that you can fully appreciate that! It requires a tremendous amount of strength and fortitude. My trip was the perfect opportunity to try the extended fast.
During my week away I decided I was going to continue with a maximum 500 calories each day, but this time limited juices. In reality I was very close to 0 calories on many days. Many people believe that fasting is a major challenge, that it is something that they could not possibly do. Well, I am living proof that it is possible.
For the vast majority of the population fasting brings many different benefits. Significant weight loss, blood sugar reduction, improved cognitive benefits, more energy, less sleep, reduced blood pressure and much more.
Increased energy and less sleep were wonderful benefits. But over the last few days I have started noticing new health issues. Small warts are starting to appear, my knuckles are swollen, dark pink and painful, AND my weight gloss had been close to 4 pounds in total. Not what I was hoping for.
Today, 21 days since starting my fast I am finding new health issues have arisen which I really believe is my body working through deep toxins. Our deep visceral fat is where our toxins are stored and I think that being fat-adapted my body is now burning fat and expelling these deep-rooted toxins.
Apparently I am one of a small number of people who should not do extended fasting. Because my body is expelling toxins and healing long term chronic illness, perhaps I should take it more slowly. Other health issues I am trying to repair are: insulin resistance, reduce cortisol levels, balance mineral deficiencies. I am guessing it will take a few weeks to experiment and find the answers.
Today I am trying to eat, with my goal being to increase my calories substantially. Then I think I will try other eating strategies such as one meal a day or alternate day fasting. It’s possible my body may be more receptive to one of these methods as opposed to extended fasting. Maybe I need to be gentler on my body!
When I was finally able to eat a full meal the following day I lost 1.1 lbs. Day 2 of eating a full meal I was actually exhausted and desperately needed a nap I am planning on continuing a meal a day for a while and then think I'll go back on another fast but likely a 3 day fast.
For many people extended fasting is wonderful. The weight loss and health benefits can be outstanding.
From my personal experience, if you are interested in fasting I would recommend starting with a juice fasting. It is easier on your body and “breaks you in”.